For Immediate Release
November 14, 2010 - As Governor Mitch Daniels practices the East Asian ritual of gift-giving during his jobs mission through China and Japan, he is highlighting the work of students from the Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis.
Pieces for this year's trip were chosen through a partnership the state developed with Herron's Basile Center for Art, Design and Public Life. The center coordinates opportunities for student artists to collaborate with businesses, nonprofit organizations and government agencies to create one-of-a-kind commissioned pieces, displays, public art installations and other art and design projects as part of the curriculum.
Earlier this year, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation worked with administrators from the Basile Center to offer students an opportunity to submit works of art representing Indiana that could be replicated for the East Asian gift-giving ritual. Thirteen students and faculty members presented pieces and Governor Daniels selected three for this year's mission gifts.
Daniels' final selections included a handcrafted ceramic vase, a wood Shaker-style box and a handmade silk scarf, which he is presenting to company executives and government officials during the trip.
"We're always telling the story of Indiana's business climate to our friends in China and Japan, and there's no better way to share a small glimpse of the talent and ingenuity of Hoosiers than through these works, crafted by such talented Indiana artists," said Daniels.
The ceramic vases, titled Blue Skies and Crossroads, were made by David Nagy, a Herron pottery student who will graduate next summer. Nagy is a native of Michigan but moved to Indiana to be near family after serving three years in the military.
Derrick Method, a furniture design student who graduated from Herron in May, created decorative boxes from reclaimed Indiana maple and cherry hardwoods. The pieces are constructed in the traditional Shaker style with bent wood, copper tacks and small wooden pegs and do not use any glue or adhesives. Method grew up in New Paris before moving to Indianapolis in 2008.
The governor also selected scarves made by textile artist and Herron assistant professor of printmaking, Meredith Setser. Setser taught courses at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Milwaukee School of Art and Design before joining Herron School of Art and design in 2006.
"Working with Governor Daniels' team to design and craft original gifts for this year's jobs mission has been an enriching, educational and cultural experience for our students, in addition to providing a powerful addition to their portfolios," said Kathy Pataluch, director of the Basile Center for Art, Design and Public Life. "No other art and design school in the country offers these types of opportunities, and we were thrilled to partner with the governor's team on this one-of-a-kind project."
Gift-giving is important in Japanese and Chinese business protocol, and emphasis is placed on this ritual. The exchange usually occurs near the end of a meeting. Daniels is presenting the pottery to the top executive for each company or governmental body he meets with on the trip. In addition to the scarves and wooden boxes, neckties in the state colors and notecards featuring Indiana nature photographs are given to other officials who attend the meetings.
The IEDC purchased the gifts using private contributions from the IEDC Foundation. No state funds are used to pay for the state's overseas jobs missions.
The governor and delegation traveled from China to Tokyo on Sunday. They begin three days of business in Japan on Monday, including meetings with current customers, including the leadership of Toyota, Honda and Subaru.
Here are photos of some of the gifts.
Photo of Nagy's pottery presented as gifts during the mission: www.in.gov/gov/files/Photos_2010/gift3.jpg
Photo of Method's boxes presented as gifts during the mission:
Photo of Setser's scarves presented as gifts during the mission:
Blair West, IEDC, email@example.com
Jane Jankowski, Governor's Office, 317/232-1622, firstname.lastname@example.org
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